The energy and electricity crisis that has been plaguing South Africans has brought a greater awareness to greener energy. It’s a great pleasure to see South Africa making it a high priority to be recognized as the fastest moving environmentally efficient country.
SA makes headway in being recognized as the greenest moving country.
The decision by South Africa to take on a more active role in creating an environmentally sustainable society is no surprise as studies have consistently shown that South Africa is among the largest carbon emitters in the world, due to the long-standing and heavy reliance on coal-powered electricity. These statistics are unique for a developing country.
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As a result, our renewable energy sector has seen a massive boost. The dip in renewable electricity costs coupled with the growth of independent producers and the increased role of institutional investors has created the continents largest renewable market in terms of asset finance for utility-scale projects.
Despite coal power still providing three-quarters of South Africa’s energy, government aims to increase the country’s renewable capacity to 17.8GW by 2030.
The SA Wind Energy Association will hold South Africa’s largest wind conference, Windaba, next month. This year’s theme is “Towards 100 percent renewables”. The conference will highlight the positive developments in the wind energy sector as the cost of wind power has gradually decreased to 40% that of the cost of coal powered energy produced from Eskom’s new coal powered station, Medupi.
Another booming renewable sector is solar photovoltaic energy. These panels are being utilized on a mass scale, from office blocks to shopping centers.
Wind and solar energy technologies are capable of feeding into the national grid and will thus relieve the current energy demand.
Renewable energy projects will be deployed at various pilot sites, including the Robben Island Museum, the Skukuza and Lower Sabie rest camps in the Kruger National Park, the Karoo Desert, the Hantam and the Free State National Botanical Gardens to name a few.
These are just a few examples of where renewable energy is being and will be implemented in South Africa. As the dependence on coal becomes increasingly unreliable, a combination of measures including, government initiatives, independent power producers, foreign investment and guidance have contributed to SA being one of the world’s fastest growing green economies.
Newspaper article: Cape Times Business Report: “SA going green fastest” by Lisa Isaacs (Wednesday 28 September 2016)